Thursday, April 1, 2010

Packages and Pictures

I was supposed to have a very successful paperwork morning. I was even planning on going to a restaurant and treating myself to a nice breakfast as I worked. I can't really be upset about not getting my work done because when I went to the post office to pick up my one package that I was just going to stuff in my bag it turned out to be THREE!

So, I haven't gotten multiple packages on the same day from my mom in a while, spacing them out is preferable, but today she struck twice. It's really a package/ post office miracle because one of the packages was sent on March 26th! Only 5 days ago. I don't even think I've gotten a letter in under a week. Obviously, the packages were filled with goodies... for Ahmed. Just kidding, I got some delicious treats as well, but I did receive some excellent coloring books, a book for tracing letters and numbers (we've already done A and B and he loves it!), two Cat in the Hat books in French, and a puzzle. We are definitely going to be busy. It's probably a good thing I have a lot to do with him because he's going to be bouncing off the walls on Sunday due to extreme amounts of Easter candy. Thanks mom and dad!

Shout out to MA! Ma, you sent your package over a week before my mom sent her first one and they all arrived on the same day. Go figure. Your package was AWESOME. I'm definitely going to plan an Easter egg hunt for Ahmed and a couple of his little friends on Sunday with the eggs you sent and he's going to love the coloring book, he really likes animals. I'm also going to enjoy the jelly beans... by myself as I hide in my room because I don't want to share! All the magazines are also much appreciated. I was spoiled in Rome because Matt brought me a ton which I read too quickly and now I don't have anymore. Thank you so much! It was a great package!

Instead of getting all my work done I waited around at the post office for the customs guy talking to my post office friends who were excited to see me after such a long time and talking to an American missonary who is translating the Bible into Wolof. Since my plan to go to the restaurant was foiled by the fact I can't carry three packages, I took a cab home and sat with Jeenaba and Deenba as they made ceebu jenn for lunch.

This afternoon I realized I double booked myself so I ran to Dioss' right after lunch even though the sun was blazing hot today and my family thought I was crazy. While I did drink 1.5 liters of water on my way to Dioss' the walk was actually really nice because no one else was crazy enough to be outside then. My plan with Dioss was to start Excel and take some pictures and when I walked in he said that I was going to be mad at him... all the young boys that hang out at his house had been playing video games on the computer, the power went out, and now the computer didn't have a battery. I feigned irritation, but it worked for me since I had to get back home, and we went to take pictures of some artists around town for the website.

Going to the artists' houses was fascinating. Dioss and the other members of his family are definitely the most successful just by looking at their homes and I really enjoyed seeing what more homes look like in Thies. Lets just say I have a pretty nice set up. I have posted the pictures of the different artists on my blog under WAIST and Onwards. Only Doyen is not a member of Dioss' family, but over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be visiting upwards of 20 artists which should be really cool.

The reason I had to get home quickly was because I had a Skype date with my Aunt Diane's class! I always enjoy talking to her class and today we had a really good discussion about art and creativity here in Africa. This conversation was especially interesting to me because of an experience I had with Ahmed yesterday. Yesterday Ahmed was so excited to see me when he got home and to show me a little Easter basket he had colored at the private Catholic school he attends. He was brimming with pride over how he was the only person in the class who knew how to use colored pencils and that because he practices coloring at home with me his drawing was the best. He just couldn't contain himself and he was so proud of his drawing which was really cool. So, I talked with Diane's class about how most children here don't have the opportunity or the guidance to express themselves creatively here. We may just have come up with a little plan to change this...stayed tuned.

Now I'm at home waiting for my fried fish and salad of a dinner watching Ahmed and one of his friends color. Don't worry, I have something amazing to do while I watch them. I'm looking at the Saks spring catalog, god bless my mother.


  1. I can't wait to hear about the rest of the artists you meet. It is amazing to think about the creativity of Dioss and his family members when we know how difficult it is for most Senegalese to even own a crayon. They must be and extraordinary family. I can't wait to hear what Ahmed thinks of the puzzle.

  2. Hello my fellow Peace Corp Volunteer. I hope this message finds you well. My name is Farfum Ladroma and I am an education volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. I am writing to you all today because I need your help! My students and I at GPS MATAMAKA (an outer-island Government Primary School in Vava’u) are pursuing a “POSTCARD PROJECT.” I am asking for other PCVs outside of Tonga to please send us a postcard from your host country. We are trying to collect as many postcards from around the world, especially in countries where Peace Corps is currently operating. This project will help enhance my student’s understanding of other cultures and share what Peace Corps volunteers do all across the globe. I will keep a running list of all the postcards received with their origin on my blog at: You may check if your postcard successfully makes it to Tonga. This will be a great cultural exchange for everyone involved and a lot of fun. Please help out if you can and tell everyone you know (even your friends and families back home)! I would greatly appreciate your participation. Thank you very much and malo ‘aupito mei Tonga.
    Please send postcards to:
    c/o Peace Corps
    P.O. Box 136
    Neiafu, VAVA’U

    -Farfum (aka Feleti)